How to Fix and Repair Scratches on a Wacom Cintiq 21ux

Extreme circumstances call for extreme measures.

The screen you see in the photos is a pressure sensitive drawing tablet manufactured by a company called Wacom. It is the industry standard technology for producing digital art. The way it works is that you use a pressure sensitive pen (just like the one in the picture) and you draw directly on the screen in programs such as Adobe Photoshop, or Corel Painter. It is quite an expensive toy, running around $2000.

The problem: After a while  the screen started to scratch. It got so bad that I could barely see what I was drawing.

The solution: After hunting around the Internet I found out that the model I own (see comments below) is actually a glass screen covered by a thin layer of plastic. It is the plastic that scratched, not the screen. I was not interested in dealing with the manufacturer, losing work days, and paying a significant sum to fix it. So I followed some blogger’s suggestion and peeled off the plastic layer. This was a little difficult because it is glued onto the glass, but it can be done. Then, using GooGone and a soft rag, I slowly and methodically removed the glue. I found that waiting a little after applying the Goo Gone allowed the glue to dry a little, creating enough friction so that I could rub it off with the skin of my finger ( the glue, not my skin).

The result: As of now the screen is clear and perfect. The only downside is that it’s a little more reflective than before. I am considering getting a screen cover which is available online, but I don’t think the glass will scratch as easily as the plastic did.

Disclaimer: I take no blame for anyone who tries this method on their own machine. There might less risky solutions out there, but I haven’t found any.

Update 12/28/11: It’s a month and a half since I took off the plastic. I am not using any protective covering and there are absolutely no scratches on the screen. One thing though, the screen is very, very, very, smooth. You are really drawing on glass. It took time to get used to it. I would still like to find something to put over the glass that would make some resistance.

Another point: I have gotten over 300 hits on this post in the last month alone! That means many people all over the world are looking for a solution to this problem. HOW IS WACOM GETTING AWAY WITH THIS! This is a $2000 item! Artists should stop suffering in silence and join together to force Wacom to take responsibility for this ridiculous issue. They barely acknowledge it on their website.

Update: 1/13/2012: Here are several links to people who have done the same solution of peeling off the screen’s top layer: look for: cjs ( 2013 – In French with pictures of the process)

Discussion of the new Wacom Companion surface and other models  ( look for Yuureikun, read the next few pages – overall thorough review of new Companion from many angles)

After much research it is becoming more and more clear to me that this is a problem specific to Cintiq models that were put out in the 2009 period (that’s when I bought mine).

Check your warranty before you try this solution, After you scrape off the top layer it feels like you are drawing on glass.

Important Update 3/7/2012: I have recently contacted Wacom about this issue by phone and email.

 I have spoken to several staff including managers. The response so far has been that they are not responsible for scratches that appear on the screen, even during warranty. The only thing they could do was offer to repair my screen for $200 plus shipping ( of course that would mean a significant amount of days off work.)

In no way did they acknowledge that there was a manufacturing mistake with the coating on Cintiq screens produced during the 2009-2010 period.

 I believe they are lying.

 I get hits from all over the world everyday on this blog from people looking for solutions to their screen scratch problems. I have found several sources on the Internet that all point in the same direction: They experimented with a new screen coating on Cintiq’s produced during 2009-2010. It was a terrible mistake because the coatings scratched in no time, and now they are covering it up.

If you had the same experience please comment on this blog.

If you know others with Cintiqs from that period please share this with them by Facebook or any other means and tell them to sign on.

Update 11/3/13: I have seen another less invasive solution for minor scratches – simply place a protective plastic screen cover over the Cintiq and you won’t feel the scratch with your pen when you go over it. (see comments for recommendations)

If the scratches are bad and affect clarity aside from disturbing strokes, or you are to lazy to buy a cover, than just take off the plastic. Either way I recommend using a screen cover, so the sensible approach would be to buy a cover, see if solves the problem, and if not just pull off the plastic.

Wacom says the screen covers cause the unit to overheat and therefore voids warranty (very convenient for them to discourage protection against scratches) but that has not been my experience. I us it all day with the protective cover, summer, winter, no problem- again use your own judgment. Of course always change your nibs regularly if you are using the original plastic coating, but I have barely had to change my nib since I started using my own cover.

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72 Responses to How to Fix and Repair Scratches on a Wacom Cintiq 21ux

  1. Anonymous says:

    If you are still looking for a cover so you’re not “drawing on glass” you could stop by a window film shop and see if they can help you. I work at one and I know we have different films that could be applied. 3M offers a clear, protective film for glass that would work just as well for this.
    Thanks for posting this info for everyone! I just got a small scratch and was freaking out.

    They offer a “paint protection” film that goes on the paint on a car. but I remember finding a cheap version thats meant for home windows and it probably thinner.

    • Interesting, I’ll have to look into that.
      I am slowly getting used to the glass, and it is still scratch free as of this date. Keep in mind that any adhesive covering can not distort light or color at all, and must be removable and somewhat scratch proof without being too smooth. Is it possible to get that sweet spot without a custom designed material, I wonder?

  2. Animark says:


    thanks for this very interesting article. I had the same issue with my cintiq in 2009. After three weeks of using it on an animation short I noticed some scratches. They became more and more every new day. After finishing my movie i complained about the scratches at wacom. They got me an new surface under acceptment of guarantee. Normal costs for that were about 450,- Euro. Today I am using a nonreflective screenprotection made by folix and I am very happy with that. Now I am thinking about removing it and the original plastic cause of some older scratches on it. Than I would apply the folix again. It has a nice surface for using the pen on it.

    At filmschool, where I am a teacher, we have about 20 Cintiqs, and each have the scratch problem. I would say: Never trust a WACOM Ciniq surface!

    Here are my old scratches from 2009:

    • Thank You,
      That is exactly what I am looking for. If anyone else has pictures of scratched up Cintiq’s from 2009-2010 please post them with a note as to when they began scratching and your experience dealing with Wacom. Soon enough we will have enough evidence to get this issue going and hopefully force Wacom to give free screen upgrades including shipping to anyone who suffered through this. That is the least they could do.

  3. xavonline says:

    what about new 21 UX sold nowadays (2011/2012) ?
    are they more scratch resistent or not ?
    is there e new glass on them ?

    • My model is a Cintiq 21ux DTZ-2100D. It has a coated glass screen with the above mentioned problematic “plastic” coating. Purchased at the end of 2009.

      To clarify the various recent models and their screen coatings let me quote Wacom

      “The first versions of the Cintiq21 models (just DTZ-2100) had an acyrlic surface covering the whole surface, the later -C and -D releases have a coated glass surface.”
      So if you have the first version of the DTZ with solid acrylic screen I have no solution. If you have the later D model and perhaps the C you can try peeling off the screen coating.

      In regards to more recent Cintiq DTK-2100 let me quote Wacom again:
      “The new surface is glass. In fact, it is the same glass that was on the last generation Cintiq21 but all of the anti-glare (AG) coating is on the rear of the glass and not the front of the glass. This will stop the AG coating from wearing as the unit is used
      So it sounds like the DTK versions( later in 2010 with the 2048 levels of pressure) are ok because they have the plastic “anti-glare i.e. scratchable” coating behind the glass. I would check the corner of the screen to see if there is a peelable plastic coating.
      (by the way this is a huge admission on Wacom’s part that they messed up on the DTZ-2100, but it is not linked properly)

      In regards to the most recent Cintiq 24HD I assume they did not make the same mistake but I don’t know for sure.
      If anyone has the DTK or HD24 models please comment and confirm if there is a plastic coating over the glass. you can hook your fingernail on the corner and feel it.

      • xavonline says:

        thanks Yoel for this answer.
        So It seems that recent 21 ux (after 2010) do not have scratches problem.
        that sould be a great thing ! 😉

        • listerart says:

          I have a DTK2100; I’ve had it for about a year & a half and am now noticing scratches I can feel with the tip of the stylus. Can’t feel them with just my fingers. Just a couple, but scratches none the less. 🙁

      • Mike Gordon says:

        Yup, Have a Cintiq Hybrid not quite a year old. The screen became worn and scratched with little use, so I called Wacom. They wanted $500 to re-screen it. Wow!
        I saw the comments about the surface and noticed a fine layer cut around the camera lens indicating a film layer. With a little peeling starting on one corner (boy, it stuck) I got the film peeled off, no residue, no glue. I was down to the glass, It was perfect! I just sent off for a screen protector to cover the glass, just in case!

      • Emre says:

        I have DTK-2100, but unfortunately my screen has very deep scratches. I can not believe Wacom made these screens so fragile. Wacom is lying . Don’t use these screens without a extra screen protector.

  4. jordan says:

    This is a known problem in the entire gaming and graphic design industry. Wacom is responsible but don’t acknowledge blame for it.

  5. steve-o says:

    I’ve been using three older, circa 2005 Cintique x15’s. AND THEY HAVE ALL DEVELOPED SCRATCHES. That’s why I found this site. Not sure if anything can be done. But not surprised Wacom is avoiding the issues. Anything to get them to pay attention finally would be good.

    But please keep researching… the scratch problem is not only from 2009. It goes way back.

    • I only have first hand experience with the cintiq that i purchased at the end of 2009.
      It seems more reasonable that a 2005 screen which is 7 years old would develop scratches over time ( although they should be more straightfoward about that issue as well). The question is if they started scratching within a short time ( a few months) with normal usage. From what I have seen so far on the web that problem seems to be specific to the 2009-2010 model when they experimented with a new plastic screen overlay. I know there was also a solid acrylic screen model at some point before 2009 which of course would develop scratches quickly so it wouldn’t surprise me if there were problems in previous models as well.
      It is also interesting to note that according to some bloggers Wacom seems to have a monopoly on the patents for pressure sensitive technology. That explains how they can get away with exorbitant prices and deficient products. The good news is that there are several companies experimenting with pressure sensitive technology for the new Ipad which should open some new interesting and affordable possibilities.

  6. Shepsil says:

    Hi Yoel. Just today I started noticing my pen would make scratching, almost gouging sounds and felt it in my fingers against my Cintiq screen. I turned off the screen, cleaned it with glass cleaner, and for the first time noticed very slight scratches from the past, and can clearly see the newer ‘gouges.” I found that this happened only at some angles with my pen, others not. I’m using the white, spring-loaded nib. Looking closely, I see the nib is looking beveled now, like it’s been wearing down since I bought the system in Jan 2009.

    Then I googled and found your blog. Cool!!

    Lucky for me I have an older Wacom 3 tablet and pen from before I went Cintiq. Trying the pen from that one, with the screen off and a close spotlight at an angle, I can NOT see or feel any new scratches happening, even where the scratches are now (where one would think the coating might be weaker).

    I suggest we all try changing our nibs to some of the others we got with our pens, or purchase a newer one of our favorite. My Cintiq model used the same pen as my older tablet – there were no pressure sensitivity enhancements between the two at that time that I would be missing, that I know of. Newer models of course need the newer pens. I don’t know if the current nib I have is reversible in the chassis – I have to find my nib case, and see if there’s a tool in there for changing the nibs, with instructions.

    Thanx for setting up this blog, my friend. Love your work, BTW. But you already know that.

    • Shepsil says:

      Yoel –

      FYI I finally changed the nib in the pen I got with the cintiq and there are ABSOLUTELY no gouging scratches happening anymore. The nib I like is the one with the little spring built into it. I had one sitting in the container that came with my Intuos 3 tablet. So now I can work with the same nib I love, and so far it’s scratch free. Looking closely I can see that my old nib that gave the scratches has developed an uneven edge, and a burr that is sharper than the main contact area.

      I guess there’s a reason why these things come with the extra nibs. But I don’t remember getting any advice about how often to change them or potential damage from roughened ones.

      I’m sure that there could also be a faulty screen coating, since so many have corroborated your experience. But for me, my problem seems to have been in a damaged nib, not my screen.

      • You have a good point about the nibs (no pun) It is very important not to use nibs that are worn down and sharp. However my experience has been that the scratching on my particular surface happened despite good nib hygiene. As you mentioned there is no mention of how often to change nibs. By the time people realized the damage was already done because the screen coating was so soft.

  7. Joanna says:


    I wanted to thank you so much for your post. I had purchased a 2009 model Cintiq and after only 1 month or so, it started to develop scratches. After a year of this, it got so blurry in the middle (where I tend to draw), that I got headaches and tried to switch to drawing anywhere but the center, which was tough to get used to. I found this post, and started picking away at the edge of the screen, and voila! It took about 15 minutes to pull off, gently, but not much residue left or anything, and I feel like I have a brand new Cintiq. I don’t mind working on the glass at all, either.

  8. Aeridan says:

    Thanks for this post!
    At work, my Cintiq suffers from the exact same condition and it’s gotten so worse that the scratches “unite” and form a cloudy, blurry mess that can be further removed with fingernails or even the pen’s nib. As long as the room isn’t lit too much (in fact: blinds down, no lamps on, just the light of the monitor itself), it’s only just bearable, but if there’s the slightest sidelight, you could just as well go home.
    The problem worsens with every operating hour and the screen warming up. Then, the scratched area softens up and becomes almost gooey. Going over that area feels really icky. :-/
    At the moment, I’m not sure if I want to relieve my company of several hundred Euro to send the device on a three-week journey for a screen replacement or try peeling off the protective surface, but I tend to just try out your suggestion… it can’t get much worse, probably. Either way, here’s one more fellow sufferer. 🙂

  9. SEH says:

    I have the same problem with my Wacom Cintiq, purchased in September 2010. It has developed scratches and a cloudy, dull spot in the center about 6 inches in diameter where the scratches have seemed to run together. This material can be scratched off with a fingernail but the surface remains dull and cloudy. This has a serious effect on my drawing and use of the Cintiq–as I also use it as my monitor, it makes it hard to read text in that area.

    Ive pulled up a small corner of the protective coating, but I’m not sure that I want to remove the whole thing, or how difficult that will be, and I sure don’t want to make it any worse than it already is. The protective coating is stiff and fairly thick and seems very firmly glued in place. Does anyone have any further advice on the process of removal?

    I am not sure if I want to remove the coating and draw directly on glass, but sending the Cintiq off to Wacom for several weeks and $200+ is not an option.

    Thanks for the info.

    • SEH,
      Based on my experience (and what I have heard from others) peeling off the top plastic layer is very doable. The plastic is sometimes glued onto the screen very well, and sometimes comes off easily. You can certainly peel it off- it just might take significant strength and effort.

      Start from the top right corner. (if you are a righty) Scrape off the plastic corner with your fingernail and peel downward toward the center. Then peel the other corners until only the center is glued – this is the really hard part- you have to keeep pulling at alternating corners and you will will make progress one centimeter at a time. DO NOT USE ANY SHARP INSTRUMENTS LIKE SCREW DRIVERS just pull at the plastic with your hands. You might feel the glass screen to which the plastic is attached pulling as well – be careful and go slow- the glass is strong I have not heard of anyone who actually shattered the glass.

      When you finish removing the screen (took me around a half hour working slowly) use GooGone to remove the patches of glue- this also takes significant effort. Put the GooGone on a cloth and rub it on the glue patches- then rub with the skin of your finger directly on the screen which is now moist and sticky from the GooGone -you have to rub very hard with your finger to create friction and the gooy residue will begin to come off- the patches will slowly shrink and disappear. You will be left with a perfect brand new glass screen.

      This whole process sounds more complicated than it is. It takes an hour or two and you will be amazed at the results.

      Again – I take no responsibilty for anyone else , but it worked for me and many others

  10. Bjamesyoung says:

    As a DTZ-2100D owner I have been dealing with the same sort of scratches for a while now. But recently it has gotten much worse. The plastic layer seems to age very poorly and is starting to become soft and cloudy.

    I have peeled up one corner easily enough but the prospect of doing this sort of thing on a 2000$ piece of equipment is rather terrifying and its a black mark against Wacom that I should even have to consider it.

  11. Brock says:

    We’ve had 3 separate Cintiq 21UX units that we bought around 2009 develop a deep and cloudy scratch ‘puddle’ in the middle of the screen where the stylus typically spends the most time. We’ve discussed repairs with Wacom, but the costs are absurdly high and involve protracted down-time that we can’t afford. The newer Cintiq units that we’ve bought in the last year have not yet developed the same problem (fingers crossed)

    I’m truly baffled that Wacom continues to be dominant in this market. Their display panels are terrible, their drivers are hopelessly buggy, and their service is spotty at best (and often just plain awful). Somebody *has* to be able to do a better job.

  12. dan s says:

    i’ve got a 24hd that i purchased rather recently, and it has little scratches on many parts of the screen now. not only to they catch the stylus nib, but as soon as the stylus nib runs over them it begins tracking and marking the screen with the microscopic bits of either the nib or the screen coating. i’m very pissed about this. i upgraded from a 1st gen 21ux and never had issues like this. this 24hd is supposed to be a vastly superior product. very pissed.

  13. dan s says:

    and i have to add that i thought people were silly for being worried about scratches, after my experience with the 21ux. i don’t know what they did, but its like this screen is made of @#$%ing sugar glass. i would even deal with the scratches catching the nib, but the trails that must be thoroughly scrubbed off the screen after a nib gets caught are UNACCEPTABLE!!!

    • Wow! This is the first I hear about a scratch issue on the new 24hd. I am surprised that they have not learned from their mistakes. Then again after dealing with them I am not surprised at all. The scratch issue with the 21ux depended on the year and model. Some models had a plastic coating and some were hard glass.
      Thank you for publicizing this and heads up to everyone who purchased the new 24hd. I wonder if the 24hd also has the thin plastic coating? You can feel it with your fingernail at the edge/corner of the screen. My suggestion would be to get a screen protector before it gets worse, and be very careful not to use worn down nibs.
      I feel your frustration. I wish some tech magazine/website would write something about this and force them to deal with the issue.

    • Krzysztof Gryzka says:

      Dan I completely agree with you. Screen on Wacom Cintiq 24hd is very delicate. I’m using Wacom Citniq 24hd touch until 2 years and I noticed scratches on most used areas. I want to add that I replaced nibs regulary!!!

      I’m very interesting does someone tried to replace anti-glare coat in Cintiq 24hd in same way like described on this site. If you know, write me an e-mail!

  14. ibrahim el hoti says:

    woow i just bought the new 22hd and from usa im living at saudi arabia and im waiting for it to arrive now i anxious

  15. DgtlRtst says:

    Just ordered the 22hd as well and this blog has helped explained so much. Thinking I should maybe invest in a cover. Any recommendations of brand. I saw an option of 3M earlier. I’m mainly curious on how the cover affects color or appearance, if any? Thank you and good luck to everyone.

    • I definitely recommend getting a screen protecter. I recently got the NuShield for my Cintiq 21ux – $35 plus shipping
      Fill in the info for your model, they have for recent models as well.
      So far I am Ok with it, although there is a little getting used to in terms of a very very slight distortion and a slightly different surface. It also has some antiglare property which is nice, as i don’t see my overhead light reflecting in the screen as much as before.
      I think it’s worth trying for $35 – I ordered the Antiglare option not the Triple A which seems like it would create more distortion. The Nushield seemed to have gotten the best reviews online from my research.

      • Valerio says:

        This is such a great blog. THANK YOU

      • Valerio says:

        Ok so I just bought a 1st Gen Cintiq 21UX. Thing is, the artist barely used it (maybe few days or months) and then it was used as a monitor for three years. The screen has no scratches, and the whole ting is in mint conditions. I guess I should use a screen protector, so I will get one in about a minute.
        I’ll try the Nushield and see how it works. Hopefully doesn’t change the feel of the stylus…

        Again Yoel, THANKS for this great info.


  16. Chris says:

    I have a 2009 21UX. I have avoided scratches from the beginning by placing a thin layer of regular acetate sheeting (from art supply store) on top of the screen, held in place with painters tape (so you can lift it up and over the back when in use and back down when not in use). I did it initially to protect from dust and accidental scratching when not in use, BUT after a few days of having and using my Cintiq, I decided to try drawing on the actual acetate. I was very surprised that it actually did not make any difference whatsoever and I can draw fine with it, so I continued to for the past few years and I have yet to have any major scratches or issues with my screen.

    I agree though that Wacom should address this issue because these are expensive to begin with, so scratches shouldn’t be an issue ever! I just thought I should put this tidbit out there for anyone who wants to avoid them on their new Cintiq or prevent new ones.

  17. Andy o'keeffe says:

    Purchased the 2009-2010 Cintiq 21ux, and within the first week of light use tiny scratches appeared in the middle of the screen . Now there is a hand sized cloud of scratches in the middle . Am thinking that maybe it’s time to peeling…curse you Wacom!

  18. Chris says:

    I lucked out and have a model with no scratches. I couldn’t believe the photos of the scratches and feel for each and every one of you. Mine is getting older and if anything happens, I wish to get a new one. Now I am afraid to.

    So they’re saying they’re putting the film on the inside?

    I called wacom a long time ago and asked about putting frosted acetate on the top to protect the screen. They said it could overheat the monitor. It did get very hot so I took it off. Are the protectors working well for everyone? Are the new cintiqs still getting scratches?

    I can’t believe this. If they could make it scratch resistant once, why not now?

  19. Niki says:

    Hi all! I purchased two months ago a Cintiq 22HD. I was a little bit dissapointed of the distance between the nib and what appears in the screen due the protection surface. Now I am almost accustomed to pay attention not to the nib as in classic drawing on paper but to the marker that appears in screen. Today I noticed one little scratch on my screen. I was using the Cintiq for less than one month. My drawing was intense(not in the sense of applying much pressure while drawing but in the sense of making much strokes). Immediately I searched in google and end here. I wish to know if 22HD have the same protector folio as showed in pictures above. I am not going to replace it for a scratch of nothing, but I wish to relax myself knowing that there is a simple solution that I could use in the future. I just hate waiting for warranties to fix problems. I am an artist and when I am inspired I barely can stop to work in order to go to the kitchen to pick some for eat. So for artists having to stop working for 2 weeks is really bad news.

    • Mitch says:

      I bought a 22HD about 6 months ago now, about 1-2 months ago I noticed one scratch towards the left hand side about 4cm long, I’m not real sure how it happened, I’m fairly protective of it, wearing a smudgegaurd glove on my right hand and taking off my watch and rings, and covering it with a soft fabric screen cover when it’s not in use. it doesn’t bother me too much as it’s not in my direct view when drawing, but annoying to get that first scratch. My main issue is the amount of dust etc that gets inside the machine between the lcd panel and the drawing surface. For something so expensive you think they’d seal it properly. Now I have several spots that look like dead pixels but are just bits of dust, I’d attempt to clean i myself but I’m not keen to pull it apart myself. Does anyone know if the 22HD has this same style of plastic layer? I might invest in a screen protector anyway to prevent further scratches.

  20. Good news – There seems to finally be a real alternative to the Cintiq the Yiynova MSP19U

    Better news -It’s $570 – consensus of reviews- It’s 90% of the Cintiq’s functionality for 25% of the price

    more info here- Frenden

  21. Alex says:

    Can any one confirm if the peeking can be done on the DTZ2100C/G. That’s the model I have and I would like to try peeling it. Thanks,

  22. Yeyo says:

    Hey, I have a Wacom Cintiq 21 UX DTK-2100 , is the 2nd gen, does my screen have this protector? I can’t really tell if it does, I don’t see anything, should I scratch the corners?

  23. Yep, I have the same problem with my early 21UX. Thanks for this guide–I’ll probably go ahead and peel off the plastic and be done with it.

    I also have a 24HD, and haven’t had a single problem with scratching (now in use for about 20 months.) If they’re using a coating on it, it is monstrously tough–literally not even the lightest of scratches on it.

  24. David says:

    thanks for the info. I had the same problem and also removed the plastic layer. You can read my experiences on :

    thanks again,

  25. Chris says:

    Just did this, thanks for the info. Mine’s a 21UX bought in 2008 and the process was very easy, 10 minutes to take the film off and only one patch of glue to remove afterwards.

    Anyone in Australia know a place that will mail me an appropriate screen protector? With shipping the overseas places are kinda pricey for a sheet of plastic.

  26. Ringo says:

    Anyone who does this, should check out They make protective films specifically for different Cintiq models, with different matte finishes. I got one for my 21ux when I first bought it, as I knew people were having issues with it scratching, and it has held up really well, with hardly any scratching. If it does get scratched you can always remove the film and buy another for about 30 bucks. A whole lot cheaper than sending it back to Wacom for repair. 🙂

  27. David says:

    How hard do you think it would be to replace the glass entirely on the 21UX ?


  28. Suzanne says:

    Last night, I heard the sound : there was a scratch on my (almost) new Cintiq 13HD. I have no idea how that scratch happened. The nib was not worn nor flat. It was not a felt nib (that collects dust particules aparentely). I just know that my heart stopped. I could feel the scratch (almost invisible) when running my nail gently on the surface. In any case, I cannot afford to replace this screen (Wacom charges 200$ and makes you pay for shipping back and forth). So I read everything that was on the web. I went to my art material store and bought a 20 x 25 sheet of Dynalar (a fusion of acetate+mylar) for 1.99$ plus taxes. It yields 4 sheets that covers my screen (I have a 13HD Cintiq). I fixed the sheet with double side tape. And voilà! I am back in business. The Dynalar is 100% clear. The nib does not create an indentation in it. The feel is 99% what it was without the Dynalar sheet. And I am without the fear and anguish of ruining the Cintiq. I can go back to concentrate on drawing! (and improving my drawing skills!).

  29. I recently purchased the Cintiq 24hd. I had a major problem with wobbly lines in photoshop. The lines seemed to break up into small sections, especially curves. If you look around the net you will see Wacom claiming that this is interference issues from nearby equipment. As usual don’t believe them. It’s possible that this is true in some cases but it is clearly a driver related issue. After endless research and trying everything on earth I found the answer.

    Follow exactly what it says there. I don’t have proof but based on my personal experience I believe the cause of this problem is old drivers that are not fully uninstalled and conflict with newly installed drivers. Using the standard uninstall program is not adequate. In my case because I had an old Cintiq 21 on the same computer overwriting it was not done properly. Also follow what he says there about installing it under an administration account. Ultimately I do not know exactly which variable was the winner; uninstalling fully, reinstalling with administrator account, or using specifically driver 6.36 driver (not earlier or later, I tried many) but I am supremely happy to be able to draw a smooth curve again.

  30. Dan says:

    I have the same problem and have discovered a quick and easy solution that works for me. Get a can of Bestine Solvent at your local Arron Brothers or art store. Pour some on a wash cloth and rub it kinda hard on the screen. it tends to melt the plastic a little removing the scratches. I imagine if you do this a lot it will wear a hole in the plastic sooner or later but I have done it about 3 times now over a 3 year period and it seems to work really well.

    • Wow that’s really interesting. That could be a first line of defense. Keep in mind that even if you do melt the plastic eventually you can always take it off or put a protector over it if it is not scratched enough to affect viewing.

  31. I bought a used Intuos 3 and had to repair the cover on it. It is ”out of stock” at the wacom shop. I had cintiq 21ux so.. I figured I should be buying the screen cover for this one two before it’s discontinued. I’m happy you have a good search engine ranking for this. Thanks a lot with these helpfull alternatives.

  32. J. Arthur Ashley says:

    THANK YOU! It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

    I had the same issue, and found Wacom to be grossly unhelpful, even deceitful. The first time I called, I was told that there was a protective layer on the glass, which they could remove and replace at a cost of over $200, and over weeks without my monitor. I couldn’t afford to be without the monitor, so I stuck it out.

    A year (and many scratches) later, I called again, spoke to several different personnel (technical “assistants”, sales people, managers), all of whom emphatically denied that the previous claim that there was ever any additional layer on top of the glass, and that the only solution would be for me to send in my monitor, and have them replace the entire screen, for a cost of over $600. When I told them I could clearly see that there was an additional layer, by peeling it starting at the corner (which would make their suggested repair seem exorbitant and unnecessary), they refused to comment, and claimed they could only diagnose the problem in-house, at my expense.

    I suspect that in the year between my first and second inquiries, the “protective layer” controversy had come to light, and they were better about keeping their personnel on-script.

    This behavior is shameful. This is a $2,000 piece of equipment, and we deserve a little consideration, respect and honesty. If/when another company releases a comparable product, I will be very happy to refuse Wacom any future business.

    (Incidentally, I finally decided to remove the protective layer, and I feel like my monitor is better than ever)



  33. dennis says:

    Hi All,

    Is there anyone having an experienced found a dust or fungi inside the glass of their wacom cintiq 21UX 2nd generation…?

    I bought my 21UX 2nd generation last 2011..when I was out of the country for 6months and left my cintiq inside the box sealed in my house..when I came back..I found out that there is a dust inside the glass..there are like dotted dust or a fungi look..size are like a tip point of a pen…and appears in a lower area amounted of 11 dotted dust.

    Is there anyone can give me an advise how to clean this..?



  34. Ram says:

    Does this trick work for later models? like the 22hd which i use?

  35. Patrik says:

    I’m interested to know if there’s a problem with the 27qhd touch version(or 27qhd) since I’m consder buying it in a few months

  36. Aaron Minson says:

    We are a design firm and have about 20+ of these Cintiq21UX’s, some of the original models look like someone has attacked the middle of the screen with sand paper.

    Idea of drawing on a “glass like” surface does not sound great especially when the weather is hot. there must be a replacement plastic coating you can purchase, I wonder if you could peel off the original damaged screen protector and replace with one of these?

    • Yoel says:

      The glass is not bad-I got used to it, others did as well. I agree that the best solution (if it is scratched and cloudy) is removing the scratched coating and buying a screen protector. That will protect the glass (it too can scratch and then you are really stuck) plus it will add some texture for the pen.There are different types. Do not buy the type that has the whole back side coated with a sticky substance- it is very hard to get all the air bubbles out. Instead buy the type that has sticky corners only- they are a pleasure to install.

      In regards to which one to buy see my earlier comment:
      ” I definitely recommend getting a screen protecter. I recently got the NuShield for my Cintiq 21ux – $35 plus shipping
      Fill in the info for your model, they have for recent models as well.
      So far I am Ok with it, although there is a little getting used to in terms of a very very slight distortion and a slightly different surface. It also has some antiglare property which is nice, as i don’t see my overhead light reflecting in the screen as much as before.
      I think it’s worth trying for $35 – I ordered the Antiglare option not the Triple A which seems like it would create more distortion. The Nushield seemed to have gotten the best reviews online from my research.

      The only ones I have experience with are the NuShield which was fine, and some other one with the full sticky back which was horrible. The Nusheild is smoother than the Cintiq coating and dulls the color very (very) slightly but you will get used to it. Or draw on the glass and be careful to change nibs frequently (once a month)

  37. Tom Woods says:

    I just now peeled off the plastic cover and it looks brand new again. Will the pen ever scratch the glass?

    • Yoel says:

      It can theoretically. I would advice buying a screen cover. Don’t buy the ones that have glue on the back. See past comments for my recommendation.

  38. Niels says:

    I had my Cintiq 13inch HD in use for a book and an animation project, the surface of the plastic started to catch scratches and get a foggy look.

    I noticed that the edge of the plastic had glass underneath, bolstered by the comments on this site I decided to get rid of the scratched plastic.

    – EASY to get the plastic off, just like 5 minutes.

    – NO glue residue.

    – Glass NOT comfortable to work on. Get a replacement cover.

    – extra PLUS, screen seems brighter and better honestly, after I got rid of the plastic.

    Good luck, do not regret it.

    • Mac says:

      How easy is it to remove the plastic from the front of the 13HD? I thought I was doomed to an eternity of scratched screens. And where did you buy the replacement cover? Any recommendations for it?

  39. Partoon says:

    Hey man, thanks for the GREAT tip!
    My screen was so scratchy it was hard to see what the hell I was doing! I peeled off the plastic and I have like a new cintiq! Big fat thank you man. I ordered your recommended protective screen as well.

    Take care


  40. Serge Baeken says:

    I had the same problem with my Cintiq24HD Touch. A large central circle of scratches obscuring my view.
    I pealed off the protective layer, which was quite thick and hard to remove. That revealed some hitech metallic pattern under the glass on all four outsides (the cover I removed had a black frame printed onto it.)
    I bought the PhotoDon protective layer, had a hard time putting it on (be sure you have someone to help and use the wider side of the screen to start aligning).
    I applied a frame of wide black tape onto the film to mask the distractive hitech patterns.
    The PhotoDon film has a bit more friction than the original film, which is better for my drawing but a bit less comfortable for any touch handling.
    It feels like the colors and sharpness of my screen are better than before.
    Anyway, for about 150 dollars (incl. shipping) I’m set for the next two years.

    • Tian widjaya says:

      Hi, I just experienced the same thing.
      I have a wacom cintiq 13 HD.
      scratches appear after 4 weeks.

      and plans to replace my screen with a new one.
      Maybe I’ll use photodon screen protector.
      but I was a bit hesitant

      What will happen if I let go of the layers of the screen wacom?
      whether to inflict damage on the main screen wacom?
      and whether photodon able to endure long?

      Thank you for your experience tell me, this made me smile again to see my wacom

      • Serge Baeken says:

        There was no damage removing the original screen protector. So far the PhotoDon film is holding up just fine. The feel is a bit different: there’s a bit more friction. This better fits my way of drawing.
        Make sure to get an extra pair of hands when you apply the film and don’t start at the left or right (as they show in their demo) but start at the top side. Good luck!

        • Tian widjaya says:

          Thank you for your answer.
          you answer the confusion I felt during this time.

          This makes me calm.
          I am a bit disturbed to see a few scratches of the Rainbow that arise in my wacom cintiq.
          It looks like suspend my activities.
          I will probably use photodon MXH anti-glare of 25%.
          with this will probably look more maximum than the original wacom screen protector.

          Hopefully the wacom does not turn a blind eye in this case.

          Once again thanks a lot already answered

  41. Dev Ramsaran says:

    Same problem as others, a cloud the size of a small soccer ball from center of screen on my Cintiq 21ux DTZ2100D purchased in latter half of 2009. Scratches began within the first month and I even draw with a lite touch. Have been living with this for over 7 years at this writing. Cost back in 09 was $2600.00 CDN

    Yep…another silent artist putting up with it…

  42. Felipe says:

    Thanks for posting this solution!
    The blurriness caused by the scratches on my Cintiq screen was driving me mad.
    Thanks again!

  43. Serge Baeken says:

    Here’s un uodate on my experience:

    Here follows a report of my experience.

    I bought a Cintiq 24HD Touch to speed up my production as an illustrator/comic book artist. It worked: I use it mainly to sketch layer over layer until my design is ready for analogue inking. I use it a lot, like often 8 hours a day or more. All this soft scratching left a mark in the center of the screen, like a blot of fog. In the beginning I managed to work around it, by moving my artwork to the side of the canvas, but eventually the spot became anti-productive, so I had to take steps.

    Online I found an artist that had experienced the same, and he wrote that the film on the glass of the Cintiq can be removed an replaced.

    By all responses I felt that there might be a difference between different types of Cintiqs of different production years, so I was very insecure about removing the film and replacing it. But I ordered a film at PhotoDon anyway and got that in the mail quite quickly, so I put myself over my doubts and got on with it.

    The original film on the Cintiq has a black board of about 2,5 cm, like a black frame. This is printed on the back side of the film. When I started peeling it of, it revealed some awkward electronics as shown in the picture here (A). I was worried I had killed my machine up, but I hadn’t. To keep myself undestracted while working, I later on put on bands of black tape at the sides of the film. (Photo: B )

    I started by gently trying to loosen up a corner of the original film, using the tip of a Stanley knife. As soon as I got a little grip, I used my hands to pull the film off. It was glued on tightly, so I had to put in quite some force, holding the Cintiq down with one hand, pulling the film with the other. Doing this with two people is probably the better way to go about it. It’s best to be with two people to put the new film on anyway.

    Photodon provided a cleansing agent to get rid of any glue residue. I started by using my own cleaner first, generally used to clean glasses and screens. There is a video online by Photodon, instructiong you on how to put on the new film. It’s best to NOT do this from left to right as the show there, but from top to bottom.

    I was stupid enough to apply the film without any help and from left to right as instructed and therefore could not avoid a little bubble of air in the middle of the screen. So I now have a little darker spot over there that I’m willing to ignore until I put on another new film as soon as this one starts to fog out. That is not going to be any time soon: the thing is holding up very well! I’ve been using my machine daily for hours and there isn’t a single scratch to be seen yet.

    The “feel” of the film is a little different then the original. There’s a little bit more friction, which is better for my drawing style, but it takes a little getting used to. The colors are better then before. So overall, I’m glad I did it. The film is a little pricy but well worth the money.

    Good luck!

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